the previous depression at the start of the 20’s was a much more severe downturn.

Yes, you’re right, I did my own argument a disservice by devaluing that point.

Since progressive politicians seem to need a reason for their existence, very little has ever been researched or written about this event.

Well, I should add here that I’ve always stared at the ratings presidential historians assign to Harding through FDR with more than a little bemusement:

  1. HARDING: Corrupt? Sure. But given the shortness of his tenure (just over 2 years) and the success of his economic program, putting him at the utter bottom of US presidents (41st in the supplied aggregate)? Probably should be fairly rated at closer to the top of the lower quartile (mid 30’s, or so), in my view.
  2. COOLIDGE: Sometimes good governance is knowing when to keep your hands off shit. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This describes Coolidge’s tenure to a T. For his tenure over and managing not to break perhaps the longest period of social and economic change in US history, he gets slapped with a 29th rating. He should be a contender for the top 15.
  3. HOOVER: The aggregate has him around the high 30's…….that’s probably about right, could be a little higher, certainly no lower. After all, he instituted most of the programs FDR relied on.
  4. FDR. There’s no explanation for FDR in position 2 other than ideological bias on the part of the historians. He was utterly feckless in addressing the Depression, but I suppose he gave a great radio address every week. His redeeming factor was as a mostly-excellent wartime president, but those internment camps and his squabbles with the SCOTUS……. I could see him in the top 15, but this “2nd” is simply nuts.

At any rate, yes, the actual history on the period from WW1 to Kennedy leaves a lot to be desired. Economic history is very difficult to shake from political bias, probably because economic history is not really taught in high schools. Students know that the Great Depression was “bad”, but they are not taught at all about how “bad” forced decision making from a political standpoint.

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